Ministry of the
Solicitor General

Home Fire Escape Planning

Develop a home fire escape plan today…

It could save your life tonight! (PDF version available on request at AskOFM)

If a fire occurred in your home tonight, would your family get out safely? Everyone must know what to do and where to go when the smoke alarm sounds. Take a few minutes with everyone in your household to make a home fire escape plan, following the instructions below.

 Title: House - Description: Small house with picket fence

1. Draw a floor plan of your home

Example of floor plan indicating escape routes from each room

Use the grid on the back to draw a floor plan of your home. You should draw a plan for each level of your home.

2. Include all possible emergency exits

Draw in all the doors, windows and stairways. This will show you and your family all possible escape routes at a glance. Include any features, such as the roof of a garage or porch, that would help in your escape.

3. Show two ways out of every room, if possible.

The door will be the main exit from each room. However, if the door is blocked by smoke or fire, identify an alternate escape route, which could be a window. Make sure that all windows can open easily and that everyone knows how to escape through them to safety. If windows have security bars, equip them with quick-releasing devices.

4. Does anyone need help to escape?

Decide in advance who will assist the very young, older adults or people with disabilities in your household. A few minutes of planning will save valuable seconds in a real emergency.

Title: Small boy - Description: with teddy bear

5. Choose a meeting place outside

Choose a meeting place a safe distance from your home that everyone will remember. A tree, street light or a neighbour’s home are all good choices. In case of fire, everyone will go directly to this meeting place so they can be accounted for.

6. Call the fire department from outside your home

Don’t waste valuable seconds calling the fire department from inside your home. Once you have safely escaped, call the fire department from a cell phone or a neighbour’s home.

7. Practice your escape

Review the plan with everyone in your household. Walk through the escape routes for each room with the entire family. Use this walk-through exercise to check your escape routes, making sure all exits are practical and easy to use. Then hold a fire drill twice a year and time how long it takes. In a real fire, you must react without hesitation as your escape routes may be quickly blocked by smoke or flames.

Remember :

  • Plan two ways out of every room, if possible
  • Hold a fire drill twice a year
  • Install smoke alarms on every storey of your home and outside all sleeping areas

If you live in a high-rise apartment building, contact the building management for information on your building’s fire safety plan.

Draw a floor plan of your home, showing two ways out of every room, if possible.

floor plan


For more information about home fire escape planning, contact your local fire department.